The cell was dimly lit and Kian woke up on a narrow bed under a blanket. His head hurt and he had a bad taste in his mouth. He looked around; the room had a table and a chair and there was a plate of fruits and dried meat, along with a bottle of water. There was also a small bathroom.
The Angel was hungry, dizzy and upset. The constant thud in his brain prevented him from recovering properly; he could barely eat some fruits. He sat back on his bed, leaning against the wall. He gradually came to realize that the Elder has blocked his power of the Nova, preventing him to escape. He couldn’t contact ANTARES and he knew that Sheera was worried sick. His heart sank as he thought about her; he missed her loving touch and her soothing presence…
While Kian was trying to find a way out of the detention, the Council was in heated debates about the stranger. For days they argued against each other, some of them wanting to kill him, others being more interested in collaborating with him and the starship in order to find out more about their own past. Antares watched and listened with growing concern; though he was scared from the one that represented the eternal FEAR in their culture and history, something told him that the young man was telling the truth and that he deserved a fair chance to prove himself. One evening he decided to visit him in the cell; he asked about prisoner from the guard and learned that he wasn’t too well. In fact, he wasn’t eating at all and he was in poor condition. Antares hurried to the room and found Kian sleeping curled up in the bed.
The Night Flyer watched him in silence. Wrapped up in his stained white wings, the young stranger looked frail and shattered. He has thinned and a deep, bluish shadow was underlining his eyes. He shuddered and sighed in his sleep. Antares sat on the bed and gently touched him; the prisoner opened his eyes. He looked to the youth facing him; the latter was taken aback by the sadness that filled the unusual blue-grey eyes.
-You’re…Antares…-he said in a coarse voice.
-Yes…I’m…sorry for this…
Kian stood up with some difficulty; his body ached and he was weak and thirsty.
-I need some water…he whispered.
The tall, slender youth stood up and filled a cup with some water, handing it to the Angel. Kian took it and drank slowly; it was cold and refreshing, easing his inner fever. He leaned against the wall and watched his captor.
-You don’t have to fear me-said in a soft voice. I know nothing about your race but I have my own troubling questions. Please, help me understand…
He placed a hand on the Night Flyer’s shoulder. Antares almost jumped away from his touch.
-I…I don’t know! I…I’ll see what I can do!
Ashamed by his own reaction, he stormed out from the cell. Damn! It was only another young man, not much older than him, alone and confused amidst unfriendly creatures! He needed help, not detention.
In his cell Kian sighed and curled up again, shivering from weakness and fever.
“ It’s no use-he thought. Fear overcomes any reason…”
He fell back in the abyss of sleep.
Deep down, in the Council Room things turned up badly; Sagitarius kept pushing for the execution of the Angel until most of the members seemed to agree with him. Antares didn’t wait for the vote; his decision was already made.
He returned to the cell, released the guard promising that he’ll take care of the prisoner. He did; he wrapped him in the blanket and slipped out. As the night fell, he took a flight to the third continent. He knew they wouldn’t dare to follow him; that was the ForbiddenLand. Not even Sagitarius had the guts to set a foot there. Superstitious fear prevented him from even flying above that expanse of land.
Antares had a hiding place there, discovered in his early childhood; it was a large cave where he has built in time a real location. He even had provisions of food and there was a source of fresh water in the vicinity. This was the place he took the stranger.
For days, Kian was constantly feverish and barely conscious. Antares fought to keep him alive, trying to give him some fruit juice but things looked still grim. The young man desperately searched his mind for a miracle solution; he finally got one but the implications were challengingly high. He shied away from them for a while, until he realized that it was not an option if he wanted to save the Angel’s life. So he set everything in motion for the sunrise.
The next morning he carried Kian out and woke him up.
-Hey-he said-wake up! I need your help. We have to do something…together, or else you’ll die soon of total exhaustion. Please, don’t give up! I have so many unanswered questions…
He lifted Kian in his arms; the young man opened his eyes and encircled his arms around Antares’ neck.
-Don’t worry…I’m still here-he whispered. I’m listening.
-Relax and let yourself go-said the young Night Flyer. It’s an ancient practice, the only one I have mastered until now. Let’s hope I can do it properly…his voice sounded restrained and slightly worried.
-I’m sure you can, little brother-whispered Kian.
Antares closed his eyes and sank deep in his own mind, setting energies in motion. He felt them surging slowly from the depths of his being, surfacing in a growing speed.
“Oh, gods of light and night, I wasn’t ready for this yet-he cried out inside, while tears ran down his face. I have to do it! Please, help me!!!!”
-I …CLAIM…HIM!!!-he shouted to the skies above in a clear voice.
As the echoes of these words died off, the primeval energies burst out and enveloped both of them. Kian felt his body warming up, cell after cell, while the two bodies felt like they were loosing boundaries, merging and becoming one. The sensations were growing more intense until all exploded in an ecstatic feeling that left both of them almost breathless. For a moment, they shared the same heart that was running wild in their chest. At the peak of the shower of joyful feelings the lock inside Kian’s mind broke and the Power of Nova added to the one summoned by Antares. The Nova’s glowing grid of sizzling blue encompassed them filling them up with new vitality, rewriting the Night Flyer’s intimate pattern just as it did to the Angel.
The merging slowed down and as the boundaries of the two youth recovered, they separated. Kian stretched his limbs and embraced Antares.
-Thank you, Little Brother. I’m fully recovered; you’ve done miracles!
It was Antares’ time to be somehow shaken; he felt…different after this unexpected sharing of energies. He looked inquisitively to his new friend.
-What was that energy coming from you?-he asked in a small voice. It was so powerful…I’ve never experienced something like this.
Kian smiled reassuringly.
-You don’t have to worry. It is the power of The Nova. She touched me when I was roughly of your age. She has changed me and now she worked on you to. Now that I’m back, I’ll be able to answer your questions. Come, we have a lot to talk…
They sat on the rim of the cliff and talked for a long time.